My Name is Rachel Corrie
23-year old American activist Rachel Corrie is run over by a bulldozer when she places herself as a human shield before a Palestinian home in Rafah that is about to be destroyed by the Israeli army. The latter refers to her death as an accident, although bystanders think differently about that.
On Sunday 28 March, the Movies that Matter Festival will present the monologue My Name is Rachel Corrie of stage producer Laura van Dolron's. This play is adapted for theatre by British actor Alan Rickman and playwright Katherine Viner, and based on Rachel Corrie's diaries and correspondence. The play caused considerable commotion in England and the United States because of its clear-cut political message. The US premiere was postponed indefinitely after fierce protests, although the piece was later performed. Laura van Dolron performed the piece for the Noord Nederlands Toneel (NNT).
For Laura van Dolron, successful stage producer, this piece presents an awkward paradox: "On the one hand, Rachel makes me feel that what I do, performing arts, is not enough. The feeling that I should go out there, just like she did, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. On the other hand, I believe that theatre is at its best when it allows audiences to get to know people like Rachel, who give us hope and who inspire us. Of course, there are two sides to every story. Rachel Corrie challenges us to choose. Presenting her only as a martyr would be too easy. For the very reason that she is like you and me."
Mini programme about activism in Palestinian territories
On Sunday 28 March, three films and the theatre piece form a special mini programme about activism in Palestinian territories. My Name is Rachel Corrie will be staged in combination with the documentary debut of Laura van Dolron, Does This Movie Matter? (Work in Progress). Together with journalist en filmmaker Mark Kulsdom Van Dolron travelled through the West Bank in January to make her first ‘do-good stand-up documentary' about the relation between westerners and the Palestinian population. For the film, Van Dolron performed fragments of My Name is Rachel Corrie in front of the Israeli wall.
Sunday 28 March, also the documentary Rachel of the Moroccan director Simone Bitton will be screened. This film tells the story of Rachel Corrie. To Shoot an Elephant of director and activist Alberto Arce, just like Rachel Corrie activist of the International Solidarity Movement, pictures the life in the Gaza Strip and the dangers the ambulance personnel have to deal with.
My Name is Rachel Corrie
Text: Rachel Corrie
Adaptation: Alan Rickman, Katherine Viner
Play: Laura van Dolron (Noord Nederlands Toneel)